• Output Type: Working Group Recommendation
  • Output Status: Endorsed
  • Review Period End: 2021-04-09
  • DOI:


  • Group: Data Usage Metrics WG
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  • Non RDA Author(s)

  • Adopters

  • Abstract

    Data Usage Metrics WG

    Group co-chairs: Daniella LowenbergIan Bruno
    Recommendation title:  RDA Data Usage Metrics WG Recommendations
    Impact: This document outlines next steps and recommendations for widespread adoption of normalized data usage practices, as well as hurdles and limitations to be prioritized going forward. Repositories that utilize these recommendations will help drive a better understanding of data usage and contribute towards the development of research data assessment metrics.
    Authors: Daniella Lowenberg, Thomas Jouneau, Ian Bruno
    DOI: 10.15497/RDA00062
    Citation:  Lowenberg, D., Jouneau, T., & Bruno, I. (2021). RDA Data Usage Metrics WG Recommendations. Research Data Alliance. DOI: 10.15497/RDA00062.


    Research data are increasingly recognized as important outputs of scholarly research, yet there are currently no standardized or comprehensive metrics for research data as there are for articles. This Working Group was founded following a Birds of a Feather at RDA Plenary 10 hosted by the Make Data Count initiative. Lending expertise from various projects and research stakeholders, this WG, a part of the Publishing Data IG, aimed to harness community buy-in of standardized approaches to data usage metrics and drive widespread adoption. The first WG meeting at RDA11 focused on an overview of initiatives in the data usage metrics space and spent the majority of the time discussing scope for the WG. Two virtual meetings took place before RDA12 focused on refining scope and defining data usage metrics. The RDA12 session centered on use cases for usage metrics, updates to the COUNTER Code of Practice for Research Data, and a discussion on barriers to adoption of standardized usage metrics. RDA13 had the largest attendance yet, overflowing a room as we presented on survey results of current implementations of usage metrics and barriers to adoption. At RDA14, WG members presented on the pitfalls and shortcomings of data usage metrics and further analyses of the survey. A discussion began about where the WG should head, sharing and developing practices around data usage metrics. The last WG session at RDA16 gave an opportunity for a split crowd of new and returning members to give input on the proposed recommendations below. The broad takeaway is that community-agreed usage metrics are essential for the future of research data evaluation, but technical, bibliometric, and social infrastructure are required to properly develop indicators.


  • Impact Statement

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  • Explanation of Sustainable Development Goals

  • Citations

  • Primary Domain: Natural Sciences
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  • Group Technology focus: Policy-Related
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